<i>Income/interest/net</i>: Using internal criteria to determine the aboutness of a text

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This paper describes the application of a corpus-driven approach to the learning and teaching of phraseology in English for Specific Purposes (ESP). It describes two specialised corpora which have been compiled, using texts from the fields of economics and financial services, with the aim of providing resources for the study of the patterns and uses of English language specific to these fields. This paper demonstrates an innovative method to provide an initial indication of the aboutness of two texts, each drawn from a different specialised corpus. First, the search engine ConcGram© is used to identify the phraseological patterns specific to each text. The phraseological patterns found in each of the texts are then compared with those of each of the specialised corpora, and finally compared with those of a reference corpus of general English usage. This iterative process provides an indication of the aboutness of the texts. The process itself and the findings have important implications for ESP, especially if the students are the ones who generate the results.


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